VCE Further Mathematics ‘50 cent’ question leaves Australian students confused

2015 has also seen students from Scotland and England take to Twitter to hit out at 'difficult' maths problems

Aftab Ali
Student Editor
Tuesday 03 November 2015 12:13

Strong candidates reportedly overthought it while others - whose forte does not lie in maths - completely clammed up when faced with a deceptively simple exam question in Australia.

Students who recently sat the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) Further Mathematics exam were stumped when faced with a question on two 50 cent coins.

The question showed two 50 cent coins - with 12 sides of equal length - balanced next to each other on a table so that they meet along one edge.

The problem then asked students to find the degree of x in the middle, presenting them with options ranking from 12 degrees to 72 degrees.

Scratching their heads, though, students took to social media to vent their fury and to ask for help in answering the question.

One user, who wrote on Facebook, blamed US rapper 50 Cent and wrote: “F*** You 50 Cent. I never liked your music anyway.”

Others took to Twitter to mock students who failed to answer the ‘easy’ question:

According to local news site, The Age, teacher Graeme Newman described the question as ‘challenging’, but added how the question was ‘fair’. He told the site: “Most exam questions try to give students a bit of a ‘kick along’ in terms of the way they set up the diagrams.

“They didn't do that in this question, they really needed to draw the triangles themselves and work it out from there.”

For those struggling like the Victorian students, one user kindly took to YouTube to post a solution and answer to the question.

Watch how to get the answer:

One student did, however, admit to The Age that, although she found it ‘a little ambiguous and confusing’, she recognised that she was ‘over thinking’ it.

2015 has been a year of many confusing maths questions. Scottish students spiralled into a panic when faced with a conundrum involving a crocodile and a zebra, while a girl called Hannah, who had some sweets, left GCSE pupils scratching their heads.

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